Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Been Keeping Me Busy Lately...

Sorry I have been away. I have been occupied by some exciting things.

I started the first half of last week without the internets. I'm not a big fan of blogging from my phone or tablet, so I waited. Turns out our cable was completely severed.

I have been making use of my Mom's garden bounty. I used Bran Appetit's recipe for Homemade Tomato Paste turning six pounds of tomatoes into two cups of tomato paste. I love that I now have small frozen cubes of fresh tomato paste that I can throw into chili and soups this upcoming winter! 
I made both spicy and dill pickles. They are both refrigerator pickles and I used recipes from Simply Scratch and Buns In My Oven. They were a big hit at a recent family get-together. My cousin took a jar back to college with her.
I finally donated my hair!!! Bye, bye 8 inches! After a lot of research, I decided to donate to Children with Hair Loss. I chose this charity because they actually provide FREE wigs to the children that need them. Now I am torn between growing it back out right away and donating again or enjoying the shortness for a while.
I have our annual family reunion this weekend and it promises to be cray-cray as usual. I will be where cell phones don't work and that is pretty nice once in a while. I hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Spiced Bean and Cheese Pupusas

5 FAVS

I love Stephen Colbert!!!

This Toasty Pet Bed is adorable! I can't wait until I have a puppy!!!
ThinkGeeks 10th Anniversary Firefly Poster. 'Nuff said...
Can we talk about the genius that is the Carl's Jr. Strawberry Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich?!?!? WHY don't I live near a Carl's Jr.?!?!?
I anyone else FREAKING OUT over the return of Breaking Bad?!?! With Breaking Bad and Dexter ending at the same time, I am sure I am going to have some sort of heart attack by the end of it. All my favorite characters are quickly unraveling. I might need these Breaking Bad Plushes by ThinkGeek to snuggle during the rest of the season.

Have you ever had a Pupusa? It's pretty amazing. Probably my new favorite thing. I am already getting ideas of what to stuff it with in the future. They are essentially Masa dough stuffed with yumminess. I happened to find Chorizo refried beans so, I had to use them.



Spiced Bean and Cheese Pupusas

Pupusa Dough:
3 cups masa harina
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt

Filling and Topping:
15 oz. fat free refried beans
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Pour the masa harina into a large bowl and stir in the water and salt until a soft dough forms. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. The dough will have thickened into a soft texture. If it seems sticky, add a little more masa
.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

While the dough is resting, mix the beans with the chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Take one piece of dough, roll it into a ball, use your fingers to make a well in the center dough and work it until you form a cup that has sides that are about 1/4-inch thick.

Scoop about 2 Tbsp of the bean mixture into the well of the masa, pull the sides of the dough over the bean filling and seal the edges carefully.

Place the pupusa on a cutting board or flat surface and gently roll or pat it out (using your hands or a rolling pin) until the pupusa is about 1/2-inch thick, being careful to not burst it open and let the filling come out. Repeat this until all your pupusas are filled and rolled out.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 pupusas at a time and let them brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes.


Flip the pupusas onto a baking sheet, top with the shredded cheese, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the pupusas are hot and the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butterscotch Bars

5 FAVS

This would be really pretty in the kitchen for pre-cut herbs.
This Pebble Smart Watch is super cool. You can customize the display and it uses Bluetooth to give you notifications from your phone and texts. AND it comes in ORANGE!!! (clearly that is the most important part) 
Happy Hubby let me get this Easel Media Stand from World Market that I have been BEGGING for. It's our first big purchase for our home decor and I love it, I love it, I love it!!! I spent the whole day reorganizing and I have found a new love for our apartment.
The Inn at Christmas Place in Tennessee celebrates Christmas year 'round!! I want to go to there.
Yeah they do


I made these Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butterscotch Bars a while back and they were a big hit. I have shared the recipe but I realized I haven't shared it here. I must make them again soon. They have all of my favorite elements. Cream cheese, oatmeal, and butterscotch. WIN!


Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butterscotch Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pea-sized pieces, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drape a 9 by 13-inch pan with overlapping pieces of aluminum foil, creating handles for easy removal. Butter the paper, and reserve.

In a food processor add the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Add the 2 sticks of butter, the cinnamon and the butterscotch chips. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture forms clumps when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer, reserve the other half. Bake in the preheated oven just until slightly golden and set, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Beat together the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon zest and juice and vanilla in an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or with an electric hand mixer until no lumps of cream cheese remain. Spread evenly over the baked and cooled oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle the remaining half of the oatmeal mixture over the cream cheese. Bake until the top is golden, about 40 minutes.

Cool and chill before cutting. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and using the foil handles, transfer the bars to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares with a sharp knife and serve.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil

5 FAVS
1. Pretty Timothy Sue Removable Wallpaper. I'm starting to think I need a focal wall...
2. Treehouse Hotels? I want to go to there...
3. These Cheeseburger Knitting Needles make me want to learn how to knit.
4. I WANT!!! I WANT!!! I WANT!!! I want for HHHHHHHHERBS!!! Aquafarm: Aquaponics Fish Garden
5. Funny...


I can't seem to get enough basil lately. The smell, the fresh flavor, the clipping-it-yourself-ness...

I am also starting to get Happy Hubby to enjoy tomatoes. What?!? I know. I'm shocked too. I made this salad thinking he was going to make an effort with the tomatoes but not eat them all. Then I looked on his plate and there was NOTHING left! I know he at least appreciates the tomato-basil combo that is most magical. He then said that this was his favorite quinoa salad that I have made so I knew it was time to share with you. If you have a lot of excess basil you don't know what to do with, make basil oil. Make a lot of basil oil and put it on everything!


Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil
makes about 3 cups worth

Caprese Quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa
16 oz container of grape tomatoes, quartered
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella pearls (or just buy a fresh mozzarella ball and cut it into chunks)
10 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare quinoa according to directions on box (which is most likely: 2 cups water + 1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes). Depending on whether you want your quinoa hot or cold (it’s great both ways) either let it cool completely or immediately add in the tomatoes, cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of basil oil over top and serve!

Basil Oil
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves (I used 3 handfuls), coarsely chopped

Blend oil and basil leaves in a blender or food processor for 30-60 seconds, just until the two are mix. Pour mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, just until bubbles appear around the edges. Heat for about 5 minutes, the remove from heat and let cool completely. Once cool, pour through a fine mesh strainer and press on the basil leaves to release all the oil. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks – stays fresh best if set in the fridge.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Bacon and Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

5 FAVS
1. I want a kitty just so I can have this for it.
2. How Much Would Tai's "Clueless" Makeover Really Cost?
3. 10 Signs You’re Having Your Quarter-Life Crisis. Well, at least someone found a name for it...

4. THIS dress. Nuff said...
5. Lion King Outtakes!


Who wants waffles? I do, I do, I DO!!!! Who wants waffles with bacon and cheddar cheese and made with a cornmeal batter?

You would really be silly not to.


Bacon and Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

3/4 cup coarse Cornmeal or Polenta
1 cup Boiling Water
2 whole Large Eggs
3 tablespoons melted Butter, cooled
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tablespoon of Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup of Whole Milk
5 strips of Slab Bacon, diced and cooked
1/2 cup {heaping} Freshly Grated Cheddar Cheese
Butter, for serving
Real Maple Syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl measure and add the coarse cornmeal. Pour the cup of boiling water over the grits and stir to combine. Let the cornmeal sit for 15 minutes until cooled.

2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Then crack and add two large eggs, the melted {and cooled} butter and whisk to combine.

4. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and the cup of milk and stir. Lastly add in the cooked bacon and the grated cheddar cheese and stir to combine.

5. Lightly spray the waffle iron. Once preheated, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter into each waffle section. Close and cook the waffles for 3-5 minutes until the edges are slightly crispy.

6. Remove the finished waffles to a sheet pan and slide them in a preheated 200 degree oven to keep warm while you make the remaining waffles. Stir the batter in between batches so the cornmeal and bacon don't sink to the bottom.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fried Avocado Tacos with Peach Blueberry Salsa and Homemade Tortillas

5 FAVS

1. Happy Hubby and I are loving Castle right now. I want Nathan Fillion to be my bestest friend.

2. These beautiful handcrafted horn speakers by Specimen Products would be a wonderful addition to my future dream home.
3. Anyone else love Watchmen and old video games? This Rorschach Invader t-shirt from SnorgTees needs to be in my mailbox like nowish.
4. Lets take a trip to the Dutch Hotel De Vrouwe van Stavoren where we can sleep in a giant wine barrel!!!

5. My 90's heart is swooning right now over this. He even put the mullet back on! 


Sooooooo, tacos right? Who doesn't love tacos? How about Fried Avocado Tacos with Peach Blueberry Salsa and Homemade Tortillas! Yeah, I made these on a Saturday when I had time and Happy Hubby there to watch and flip the tortillas while I pressed them. 

Also, don't snack on avocado when you are about to eat lunch. It fills you up big time and then you don't eat the lunch you spent all day making. Needless to say, my neighbors got a free lunch that day.



Fried Avocado Tacos with Peach Blueberry Salsa and Homemade Tortillas

Peach Blueberry Salsa (by How Sweet It Is)
1 cup fresh blueberries, chopped
1 ripe peach, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
the juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix. The longer it sits, the better it tastes! Keep refrigerated.

Tortillas (12 tortillas) 
2 cups Masa
1 1/3 cups Warm Water

1. Heat ungreased skillet over high heat.
2. Combine Masa and warm water, knead to blend well and form a ball.
3. Wet hands and shape dough into balls around 1 1/2 in diameter.
4. Roll out or press each ball between 2 sheets of wax paper to form a 6-inch circle. Carefully peel off wax paper.
5. Cook on ungreased skillet for 30 seconds or until lightly browned and edges begin to dry. Turn tortilla and continue cooking for one minute. Tortillas may puff up slightly. Turn tortilla again and continue cooking for 30-45 seconds until desired doneness. Keep tortillas warm in a tightly wrapped kitchen towel.

Fried Avocado (by Tasty Kitchen)
1 whole Avocado, Semi-firm, Not Mushy
Pinch Of Kosher Salt And Pepper
⅓ cups Flour
1 whole Egg Beaten
½ cups Panko
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil, For Frying

1. Halve your avocado and run a sharp knife gently around the perimeter of each half to loosen the meat from the skin. Gently remove the skin and the seed. Slice each half into wedges. You should be able to get 8-10 wedges from the avocado, depending on its size. Don’t slice them too thin; you want them to hold up to the breading and frying. Sprinkle the wedges with a bit of kosher salt and pepper.

2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Place the egg (beaten) in another bowl and the panko and Parmesan cheese in another bowl. Dredge each piece in the flour, gently shake off any excess flour. Dip into the egg mixture, then finally into the panko mixture, coating all sides well. Set aside.

3. Heat your oil in a frying pan. Place just enough olive oil in your pan to just cover the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium high heat until oil becomes hot enough to fry. It usually begins to make a sound once it’s close. Gently set your avocado pieces in the oil. Fry on all sides until browned, a total of about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Gently remove from the pan, set on a paper towel-lined plate.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Butter Pecan Ice Cream


I'm going to start sharing my 5 FAVS when I must share with you the stuff I come across.
Starting Now!

1. These Tiny Arcade Machines must make an appearance in my future dream home.

2. This Taylor Swift "22" parody. I'm not 32 yet but I am totally with her on this.

3. Overall Swimsuit from Urban Outfitters! Can I has?
4. Did anyone else know that JK Rowling released a book under a fake name so she could get honest book reviews? I lurve her.
5. I must try this beer! Hell or High Watermelon Beer. Someone please go to San Francisco and bring this back for me!!!


I made homemade butter pecan ice cream for my father-in-law for Father's Day last month and he said it was the best he ever had!! Mind Blown!!! I am not a fan of any form of nut in my desserts so this ice cream isn't anything I would ever gravitate towards. That being said, this was awesome! But don't put any nuts in my brownies...or cookies...or cakes...


Weird coincidence that my mother-in-law bought the same bowls that the Brown Eyed Baker used for her photos. Also, in her link to this recipe, she has a wonderful tutorial of how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I used my awesome Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment!!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. Combine the brown sugar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the syrup for 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs together in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the syrup.

3. Cook in a double boiler over, not in, boiling water, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 175°F and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Add the unsalted butter and stir until melted. Strain into a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.

4. Add the whole milk and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

5. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold it into the egg mixture.

6. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Fold in the chopped pecans before transferring ice cram to a container.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Firecracker Pork Chops with Fresh Pineapple, Kiwi, and Red Pepper Salsa

Did you all have a happy and safe holiday?


Did anyone else see these fireworks? My town always puts on a fantastic fireworks display and I always love seeing the shaped fireworks like this star one. 


...and this heart one...


...and the allusive smiley face firework!

I have only seen the smiley face a few times. I have also seen many failed smiley face fireworks. HOW DO THEY DO THAT!?!?!? Fireworks are always an amazing sight to see like once a year. It's nice to just stop for a half an hour and just be amazed by them.

You know what else is nice to just stop and eat during grilling season?

Firecracker Pork Chops with Fresh Pineapple, Kiwi, and Red Pepper Salsa! I'm not a huge fan of pork chops but these are darn tasty. One of those recipes that I had to stop eating just comment on how good they were. These are especially good paired with the salsa. This salsa recipe features my new secret to spicy salsa. Instead of covering my hands and lemon-ing them after handling jalapenos, I just add a squirt of Sririacha instead! A perfect combo for these hot and humid summer nights. Don't forget ice cream for dessert!



Firecracker Pork Chops with Fresh Pineapple, Kiwi, and Red Pepper Salsa

For the Pork Chops:
4 boneless pork chops, 3/4 - 1 inch thick (1-1.5 lbs)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tb. sriracha hot sauce
3 Tb. honey

For the Salsa:
1 cup fresh diced pineapple
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced kiwi (about 4)
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 Tb. chopped cilantro
1 Tb. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce

Salt and Pepper

Pour the soy sauce, hot sauce, and honey in a large zip bag. Shake to mix, then add the pork chops. Marinate for at least thirty minutes.

Preheat the grill to high heat.

For the pineapple salsa, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Once the grill is hot, grill the pork chops for 3-4 minutes per side. You want the pork chops to be slightly pink or just barely cook through, but not dry.

Cover the chops with foil and allow them to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.


Serve warm with fresh salsa piled over the top.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cherry Pie Bars

I couldn't wait to show you anymore. 
...
These are just so gosh dang delicious.
...
I was going to wait until I had fresh peaches to make these and share them with you. 
...
But they are just so gosh dang delicious.
...
And they are perfect for the 4th of July. Cherry pie equals 'Merica.
...
I actually made these Cherry Pie Bars for Father's Day and they were a big hit. We were immediately discussing what other fruits to make this not-pie with. My future choice is going to be Southern Illinois Peaches which I may start seeing in the next few weeks. My mom was also talking about going blueberry picking so that may be a possibility as well. I made them for my dad because cherry pie is one of his ultimate favorites. This just seemed so simple. Pie without the extra work of pie.

Happy Hubby even surprised me by how much he loved them.

SOOOOO GOSH DANG DELICIOUS!!!!

Cherry Pie Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 (21 ounce) cherry pie filling 2 if you like cherries (highly recommend)

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 Tbs milk

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and beat well.  Beat in extracts.

In a separate bowl combine flour and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture.  Mix until combined.

Grease a 15x10x1 pan or 9×13, whichever one you decide to use.  Spread 3 cups batter in a 15x10x1 (Also works with 9×13- baking time will at least be 35 minutes)  Spread with pie filling.  Drop remaining batter on top of pie filling.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over the bars.  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Andouille Blue Cheese Sliders

It's almost the 4th of July! What? Wasn't it just snowing the other day? I mean...I'm happy it really wasn't. But when did summer happen? Sorry for using the "S" word so soon. It hurt my soul too when I thought it.

I came across these today and I think they would be awesome in my non-existent backyard. 

They are actually made by Tiki Brand!
 Did anyone else know that there was an actual "Tiki" brand? Did anyone else actually know that they made anything other than the cheap looking Tiki torches from yesteryear? Also, that means that "Tiki" is a "brand eponym" (one thing that stuck from business school). Originally and eponym is used to describe an item that gains its name from the maker. From the Greek "after or upon a name." Sandwich, Frisbee, Braille, and Jacuzzi are all examples of this. A brand eponym, however, describes a brand name of a product that becomes the generic term for that product (or genericizing it). Popular examples include Coke, Swiffer, Kleenex, Jell-O, Band-Aid, and Scotch Tape. We say "I need to buy more Kleenex" not "I need to buy more tissue paper." Or maybe you do.

Now don't I sound smart for once? I promise it will never happen again.

Back to the 4th of July aaaaaaaaaaaaand:

LED CORNHOLE!!!
Between the torches and the glowing Baggo, I am down for a SWEEEEEET 4th. Too bad I don't have either to help me celebrate. Sad face...

You know what I can do (and you should too)? Andouille Blue Cheese Sliders ya'll! These are awesome. Soooo much flavor in these cuties. Happy Hubby and I like a single pickle on it and a squirt of mustard and that's all. The spiciness of the Andouille mixed with the pungent blue cheese is perfectly paired with a single pickle and mustard on a sweet King's Hawaiian Roll. Hello Flavortowne!


Andouille Blue Cheese Sliders

1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. andouille sausage links
5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 egg
Pickle slices (optional)
Dijion mustard
16 small sweet Hawaiian-style rolls

Salt and Pepper

Preheat the grill to high. Place the sausage and shallot in the food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add the egg and pulse again.

Pour the sausage mixture into a large bowl, followed by the ground beef, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Mix well then gently mix in the crumbled blue cheese.

Scoop 16 - 1/4 cup portions of meat mixture onto wax paper. Press them flat with the bottom on a glass, then reform the edges so the are tight.

Grill the patties for 2 minutes per side.

Slice the Hawaiian-style rolls in half, spread on some mustard and assemble your burgers.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kahlua Flan

DUH, DUUH-DUH-DUH, DUUH-DUH-DUH...


BLACKHAWKS WIN!!!! I feel so Chicago-y today. I even had a Chicago-style hot dog on Sunday. It was delicious. 

Happy Hubby and I don't have live television. We just stream shows and movies from Netflix and Hulu. So I was listening to the local WGN 720 radio station on my TuneIn radio app while making dinner to listen to this game. We had our dinner and checked in with 720 to see how the Hawks were doing. Five minutes left, losing 2-1. Okay, we are either going into overtime or are moving on to game 7. So we decide to go for a walk outside. About 3 minutes into our walk we hear yelling and fireworks. We assume that means we tied it up. We turn the radio app back on and hear "I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN THE PAST TWO MINUTES!!!!!" Needless to say, it was a pretty great night walking around our Chicago suburb at the moment the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

We should probably celebrate with flan! KAHLUA FLAN!!!!


This was my first adventure into flan and boy was I pleased. No wonder Emeril got five stars for it. It is also much simpler to make than most flan recipes. My only suggestion for you is to make the caramel whichever way you are comfortable with. There are many different ways to make caramel (don't stir, constant stirring, etc). If you have a tried and true way to turn sugar into caramel, do it. This recipe didn't say it, but I like to add a splash or two of water with the sugar to help the initial dissolving process. Stir the water and sugar together then let it melt and don't touch it.

We were enjoying dinner with our neighbors. Plastic spoons; no dishes! Yay!

Kahlua Flan

3/4 cup sugar 
4 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur (recommended: Kahlua)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt. Lower the heat and cook until caramelized to a golden brown. (Do not stir or touch the sugar, but swirl the pan to melt evenly.)

Pour into a metal flan mold or 9-inch cake pan. Turn the dish and swirl to evenly coat the bottom. Let caramel cool and harden.

Place the dish in a larger roasting pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the condensed and evaporated milks and Kahlua and whisk well to blend. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake until set and just firm in the center but still jiggles slightly, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.

To serve, run a thin sharp knife around the rim of the flan. Place a platter or large plate on top of the flan and gently flip over so the plate is on the bottom. Lift away the mold. 

Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

I need to make this again...like yesterday...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Peach, Bacon, and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

I just found out that I work next to a magical place named World Market. If you have one in your area, I highly recommend going. You won't be sorry. Just don't go on a twenty minute lunch break and expect to get back to work on time. I b-lined for the food area but I wanted to explore so much more. Happy Hubby has a birthday coming up so I stopped by to get some unique treats. My coworkers are always snacking on fun things from there so I knew it was a foodie's dream. Happy Hubby loved and is continuing to enjoy his basket-o-yummy. His favorite item, you must know, were these:



I know I have seen them in other stores before, but I never though to buy them. Happy Hubby puts Sriracha on everything. If you see this can, buy them. No joke. Just do it. You won't be sorry. I even love them and I don't normally gravitate towards spicy for a snack. To clarify, they are a flavorful spicy (like Sriracha normally is) but not hot like the Wasabi Peas the same company makes are.

It is officially summer, my friends, and nothing says summer like peaches! I am excited for Southern Illinois Peach season and when I finally get my hands on some, I will be making a not-pie (that will make sense in the future). Until then, I am enjoying the peaches I CAN find...with cheese...and bacon (duh). 





Peach, Bacon, and Gouda Grilled Cheese
slightly adjusted from How Sweet It Is


4 pretzel sandwich rolls
8 ounces smoked gouda cheese, sliced into 8 rounds
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
2 peaches, sliced

Preheat a panini press. Assemble sandwiches by placing a slice of cheese on top of the bread, followed by bacon and peaches, then another slice of cheese on top to act as “glue.” Spray press with cooking spray and put in your sandwiches, cooking for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melty. Serve immediately!